A blundering thief was foiled in his bid to steal booze from an Asda store in Sunderland.
Raymond Ramsey, 54, wrapped six bottles in tin foil to try to avoid tag detection by exit security scanners.
But he came a cropper at the retailer’s Leechmere outlet – and was arrested by police on patrol in-store on Thursday, March 25.
In court, Ramsey, of The Avenue, Ashbrooke, Sunderland, insisted through his solicitor his theft was not motivated by drugs.
He admitted he had used heroin up to a year ago but money woes – mainly around the breakdown of his marriage – was why he was cash short.
Prosecutor Tracey Wood told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “There were six bottles of alcohol to a value of £160.
“He concealed the bottles about his person and wrapped them in tin foil. Officers at the store have arrested him.
“In interview, he said that he couldn’t remember specific details of the offence.
“There was some level of sophistication in that he planned the foil wrapping, but the items were found at the store.”
Ramsey, who has 32 previous convictions and was last in court in 2019 to receive a community order for theft, pleaded guilty to attempted theft.
Ms Wood said the bottles of booze were whisky and gin, but Ramsey insisted they were vodka.
Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “He had an aneurism in his groin. It’s taken some time for him to be put on the right medication.
“That’s how he explains having no recollection of what went on.
“His relationship with his wife broke down after he was informed that she was having an affair.
“He describes it being 12 months since he last took heroin. He would like this offence distinguished from that, this was because of financial difficulties.
“The items were recovered. He doesn’t accept the value, but he does accept the offending.”
District Judge Paul Currer fined Ramsey, who walked into court pushing a wheelchair, £100, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.
For daily news from the North East’s courts direct to your inbox, go here to sign up to our free court newsletter